CRTC Chair Calls on Broadcasters to Lobby For Legislative Reform

CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein gave a speech to the Canadian broadcasting community yesterday in which he urged broadcasters and broadcast distributors to speak with one voice for legislative reform. Von Finckenstein presented his vision of a single communications statute (rather than separate Telecom Act and Broadcasting Act) that could include:

  • A statement of the economic, social and cultural objectives of the communications system.
  • A structure for the optimum regulation of the transport of bits, whether by wireline or wireless, and whether the content is voice or data. This would be the heart of the Act. The goal has to be a competitive, flexible system that encourages innovation.
  • A clear delineation of the broad policy choices that are to be left to the government, and the powers to be assigned to an independent regulator.
  • Specific provisions on timelines and on regulatory powers, such as AMPs [Administrative Monetary Penalties], mandatory adoption of codes, and the explicit power to impose arbitration.
  • A coherent scheme for the support of Canadian content, be it by way of exemption, exception or subsidies—or a combination of all three.
  • The obligations, responsibilities and governance of the public broadcaster, defining its special role in reflecting Canada’s unique culture and values. This could be set out in a separate part of the Act—or, as I would recommend, in a separate statute.

He concluded by stating that Canada needs modern, forward-looking legislation and that the industry needs to step up to the plate to lobby for change.


  1. Hmm
    Is it just me or does none of the above fall in area of interest of current broadcasters?

    Why would they want these? They profit off the way things are now.

    How can this guy give advice with a straight face when he’s absolutely bungled literally everything that’s come into his purview for at least the last 4 years?? CANADA NEEDS A MODERN, FORWARD LOOKING _CRTC_!!!

  3. I don’t understand.
    Why would the industry lobby for reform when they are perfectly happy making record profits? How would the industry lobby for reform that actually benefits Canadians?

    Canadians have already spoken. It’s time for the government to act, not the broadcasters.

  4. Crockett says:

    A ‘modern forward looking CRTC’ would be one that has more than the broadcasters in mind. This would require more than telecom industry veterans or hopefuls on the board. I’m not saying industry should not be represented but there needs to be other voices at the table.

  5. Konrad Are You F*#@’n Serious?!
    Please. When is this unmitigated disaster we call the CRTC going to be taken out to the back 40 and properly disposed of.

    Seriously, the Chair of this agency is urging broadcasters to lobby for legislative change rather than doing his fucking job and working with broadcasters and AVERAGE CANADIANS to establish a workable vision for Canadian broadcasting.

    Mr. Harper complained about the cost of the recent elections so maybe he should look closer at whether or not there is a better way to manage and create public policy that the CRTC seems so god damned unwilling to produce.

    This shit drives me absolutely nuts!

  6. Embarrasment
    This man is an embarrassment not only to the bureaucracy for which he is top dog, but also to the politicians responsible for his mandate.

  7. Why self-regulation?
    Why should the industry be allowed to draft rules to regulate itself, when they have shown contempt for the Canadian consumer? What about Canadians coming up with regulations.

    Consumers should be directly involved in the regulation of these industries, and should have *more* say than the telcos.

    We all know what VonF is about. We are all tired of being embarrassed by this buy. But complaining about it is not going to be productive. He is nothing more than the incumbents puppet.

    We must start insisting on ACTION by the positions that have the authority to get the rights things done. We must focus our resources on the Minister of Industry and the Prime Minister. I believe that Mr. Clement understands the issues and knows what the effective alternatives are. I also know that all I have seen from Mr. Clement as Minister of Industry is a “lets give the existing process and chance to work” and “I can’t play all my cards at once” strategy”. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

    @Michael – re: collusion – Dakrew has neither the authority or the resources to do what you are suggesting. However, the Competition Bureau does. Why do they continue to sit on the sidelines while the CRTC endorses vertical convergence and allows the controllers of the backbone to play in the retail market?

    Canadians have now given the government a majority. The government has no excuse for continued inaction. If the Minister of Industry’s much anticipated, “new” digital policy is just more high level suggestion for promoting competition then Canadians are in trouble.

    I believe organizations like need 5 million supporters not 500,000 to get some real action out of the people that have the authority to get things done. CanadianISP published an article( that reflects much of the same position that I support.

    Wightman Telco( an example of what REAL competition can bring to Canadians.

  9. And to fan the fire more…
    It looks like netflix has become a major source of bandwidth sage during peak periods. See

    If you look at the complete numbers, video is responsible for 49% of the usage during peak periods. And it will only continue to grow.

    So throw some “innovation” into this picture. Does that mean following the netflix model, or dovetailing with it? Or perhaps something new? The only thing I know for sure, is that attempting to create regulations to reduce this form of competition isn’t being “innovative”.